Lit Kit Projects

United Way of Southwest Virginia

About the lit kit projects

We invite your organization to partner with United Way of Southwest Virginia in the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading by creating and distributing literacy kits (lit kits). Host a United Way of Southwest Virginia lit kit project at your workplace or in your community! 

Learning to read is the most important predictor of a child’s future success. Yet, many kids miss this important milestone.

In the time it takes to have lunch, employees can create United Way literacy kits — a fun, simple solution to engage children and help them learn to read. Ready to host a fun and impactful volunteer project for your company or organization? Sign up using the form below!

Let’s get started!

Why lit kits?

As one strategy to create a healthy, well-educated, financially stable workforce of tomorrow, United Way is making community investments to ensure children reach the critical developmental milestone of reading on grade level by the end of third grade. Focusing on helping Southwest Virginia’s youngest children become proficient readers gives them a strong start.

Literacy kits (lit kits) not only deepen the reading experience for the child and who they are reading with, they also are a great way to bring volunteers together around the importance of reading on grade level by the end of third grade. Working on a lit kit project is a wonderful opportunity to generate and celebrate teamwork among employees with a focus on increasing access to print material for local children. Volunteers can have fun and explore their creativity while making an activity to increase pre-literacy skills in young children, getting them ready to learn.

  • 61% of low-income families have no age-appropriate books in their homes. (Source)

  • Reading proficiency by third grade is the most important predictor of high school graduation and career success. Yet every year, more than 80 percent of low-income children miss this crucial milestone. (Source)

  • Research shows that children from low-income families lose as much as three months of reading comprehension skills over the summer. (Source)

What does the process look like?

Once you fill out the form to let us know you’re interested, we’ll walk you through the process. We’ll connect you with a classroom in your community that’s in need of lit kits, and we’ll provide links to download, print, and purchase everything you need (the cost is minimal – around $200-$300 for lit kits for a full classroom).

Volunteers use their creativity along with arts and crafts to make related props, games or other activities to make reading interactive and enjoyable for everyone involved. The crafts that volunteers create will stay with the book and help bring that book to life when the child reads it. While making literacy kits, volunteers will participate in a unique experience with co-workers and make a meaningful difference in the community.

Each lit kit contains one brand-new, age-appropriate book, one parent packet with tips and activities to pair along with the book, an encouraging note written by the volunteer to the young reader, and a game/activity that is created by hand onsite to deepen the child’s experience of reading the book in the classroom or at home.

<-  Back to United Way’s work in Education

About our work in Education

United Way of Southwest Virginia is fighting for the education of the region by making sure children and youth can start school ready to succeed, become proficient readers at a young age, stay on track in middle school, earn their high school diploma, and pursue a higher education or career.